MX23RW : Wednesday, April 14 04:51:50| >> :600:987590:987590:
Dec 15, 2020 at 7pm UK at Stadium of Light
AFC WimbledonAFC Wimbledon
Wright (62')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Pigott (42' pen.)
Reilly (49'), Longman (70')

EFL: 'Sunderland had option to postpone Wimbledon game'

The Black Cats had eight players missing for Tuesday night's 1-1 draw.

The EFL has insisted Sunderland had the option to postpone Tuesday night's League One clash with Wimbledon after their squad was struck by Covid-19.

The Black Cats were without eight players for the 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light as a result of one testing positive for coronavirus and a further seven, two of whom are displaying symptoms, self-isolating.

They opted to go ahead with the game following discussions with the governing body amid concern over the possible repercussions of calling it off, with head coach Lee Johnson later insisting it should not have been played.

However, the PA news agency understands it is the responsibility of a club to inform the league if they believe they are unable to fulfil a fixture rather than the league ordering a postponement.

An EFL spokesperson said: "The safety and well-being of players is a priority and the protocols that have been developed are designed to protect individuals and, if followed, will help prevent the spread of infection.

"All EFL clubs are aware of the processes and steps needed to take in the event of positive cases of Covid-19 and the impact this could have on their wider playing squads.

"Throughout our extensive discussions on Tuesday, it was made clear to the management of Sunderland that the option existed for them to inform the league they were unable to fulfil the fixture, but this would result in the circumstances being investigated as a result of the club being required to fulfil their fixture obligations in accordance with the regulations.

"This is consistent with the approach taken with other clubs who have been faced with similar situation and the requirement to self-isolate players and staff in line with EFL and Government guidance.

"As Sunderland has confirmed, they opted not to do this for the reasons they have identified and to play in the fixture. That decision rested with the club as only they can make the determination on whether they had sufficient players available from their squad to fulfil the fixture."

Speaking after he game, Johnson said: "That game should have been called off, no doubt in my mind. I can't help but feel angry, frustrated. At the moment, I am not sure who I am angry at."

Had Sunderland chosen not to go ahead, the EFL would then have launched an investigation, including an assessment of how coronavirus protocols had been followed, before deciding on what action, if any, would be taken.

ID:426745: cacheID:426745:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:3365:
Latest coronavirus PSA banner
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Bolton boss Phil Parkinson pictured on May 5, 2019
Read Next:
Sunderland sack Parkinson following five-game winless run
Read more about Lee Johnson Football

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
1Hull City412471071323979
2Peterborough UnitedPeterborough402371070383276
4Lincoln CityLincoln391991161421966
7Oxford UnitedOxford Utd411881563491462
8Charlton AthleticCharlton391711115751662
9Ipswich TownIpswich40179144141060
11Accrington StanleyAccrington401610145257-558
12Doncaster RoversDoncaster39176165555057
13Fleetwood TownFleetwood4015111443331056
14MK Dons411510165558-355
15Crewe AlexandraCrewe401510154754-755
16Plymouth ArgylePlymouth411410175066-1652
17Burton Albion40149175363-1051
18Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury391214134446-250
19AFC Wimbledon401012184462-1842
20Wigan AthleticWigan41118224568-2341
21Northampton TownNorthampton411010213458-2440
22Bristol Rovers41108234064-2438
23Swindon TownSwindon41114264674-2837

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!